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Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University was founded in 1850 by a diverse group of 30 civic and religious leaders who came together to establish "an Institution of learning of Collegiate grade." When a sponsor was needed, the founders gained support from the United Methodist Church, which is how "Wesleyan" was added to the original name, "Illinois University." 

Bachelor's programmes

Arts, Design & Architecture (1)
Business & Management (1)



In 1851, an admissions circular declared that the patrons of Illinois Wesleyan had established "an Institution of Learning which shall shed brightness on all the land around and send down floods of light and blessedness upon generations yet to come.


Illinois Wesleyan University, an independent, residential, liberal arts university founded in 1850, strives to attain the ideal of a liberal education while providing unique opportunities with distinctive curricula and programs. A liberal education at Illinois Wesleyan fosters creativity, critical thinking, effective communication, strength of character and a spirit of inquiry. Our curriculum deepens the specialized knowledge of a discipline with a comprehensive world view.The Illinois Wesleyan experience affords the greatest possibilities for realizing individual potential while preparing students for democratic citizenship and life in a global society.


  • Because Illinois Wesleyan is an entirely undergraduate institution, students are offered research and creative opportunities without competition from graduate students. 
  • They develop close relationships with faculty who love to teach and engage students in their research and scholarly work. 


We're passionate about helping you through every step of your career - whether it's nabbing your dream internship, acing your MCAT, landing your first job after college, or wherever else your career journey may take you.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards


Student services

Illinois Wesleyan University strives to take full advantage of its residential character to afford each student challenging yet supportive opportunities for intellectual, social, ethical, and personal growth. The Division of Student Affairs at Illinois Wesleyan University comprises those offices and areas that work directly with students to enhance and complement the University's educational mission.

Housing services

While your residence hall is a place to keep your stuff, it’s also the place you meet best friends that will last through your college years and the rest of your life.  From the First-Year Resident Advisor you meet on move-in day, to the unlikely suspect down the hall you never thought you’d have so much in common with, you will never forget these people who share your IWU life.  

Library services

The Ames Library is the intellectual heart of Illinois Wesleyan University. It is here that scholarly information, regardless of format, is gathered, organized, and prepared for dissemination to the University community. In addition, the library provides a place for interaction, collaboration, consultation, study and reflection.

Medical services

Health Service strives to provide quality, accessible, comprehensive and cost effective health care that enables students to achieve their academic and intellectual potential. Cultural competency, social justice and the impact of global health issues are addressed and understood to be of concern to our students, parents, campus and community.

Student Life

Sports facilities

  • The $15 million Shirk Center, opened in 1994, was funded in part by a $5 million gift from the Russell and Betty Shirk Foundation of Bloomington. The Shirk family owns Beer Nuts, Inc.®, the Bloomington-based snack food company. The two-level, 135,344-square foot complex seats 2,680 for sporting events (3,450 for commencement) in its performance arena, and contains four multi-use courts for tennis, volleyball, basketball, and other sports, as well as racquetball courts, a 200-meter track, a training room and wellness center, classrooms, and other facilities.
  • IWU's men's and women's soccer teams make their home at the lighted Neis (pronounced "nice") Soccer Field.

Student clubs

The Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs is your headquarters for Registered Student Organizations. The Involvement Center is where you get support for: RSO Leadership development, Individual Leadership Development, Budgeting, Contract review and questions, Collaborating on big programs, Event planning resources, and RSO recognition.


Illinois Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Student Reviews

Was Liberal arts worth it?
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

The university is not part of a Business School like other universities. Although I enjoyed the liberal arts aspect of my education I do feel I lack in some areas of my education. The university lacked diversity in its classes.

Bloomington, Illinois, United States


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